May Winfield

Global Director of Commercial, Legal and Digital Risks
Buro Happold
Bio

May is a senior construction and insurance lawyer with over 16 years’ experience. She has worked for various international organisations within the design and construction industry, as well as advising and representing insurers in this field. 

May has significant expertise in all areas of construction law, both contentious and non-contentious, as well as construction insurance. She has both drafted and negotiated contracts in JCT, NEC and bespoke forms, and has dealt with public procurement and complex private projects. She has represented construction clients and insurers in multi-million pound disputes.

May was admitted as a qualified solicitor of England & Wales in February 2004, having been called as a barrister in October 2001. In January 2015, she graduated from King’s College London, gaining a MSc distinction in Construction Law & Dispute Resolution. During her time at King’s College, May was recognised with six academic awards, including best overall student and best exam script in the arbitration exam.

She is a leading legal expert in Building Information Modelling (BIM) and related technologies. May was one of the first UK lawyers to start investigating the legal and contractual implications of BIM, beginning her specialism in 2011. Her 2014 UK Society of Construction Law paper on this issue is still cited worldwide. May also pioneered the drafting of the JCT Practice Note on BIM, the UK legal and contractual guidance relating to the BIM international standard, ISO 19650 and the ISO 19650compliant BIM Information Protocol. 

May has written numerous papers and articles on BIM and the wider aspects of construction technology, including, 3D printing, drones and modular construction. She regularly speaks at conferences worldwide on the topic; most recently giving the opening keynote speech on the UK’s BIM legal journey at a buildingSMART legal conference in Berlin and at the BIMTI conference in Porto.  

May is a member of various industry groups, including chair of BIM4Legal, core member of 4D Construction Group and a member of the CDBB Roadmap Working Group.

In 2020, May was recognised as the ‘Best Woman in Construction Law’ at the European Women In Construction and Engineering Awards (WICE) in honour of her work in the industry.

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